Thursday, December 22, 2011

One Word - 2011 - Change

Well God definitely called my word for the year accurately.
This year there has been much change.

Disability for 3 months
Pain for 12 months
The inability to do many of the things I took for granted in 2010 and before.
Getting engaged

I’m trying to learn to roll with it and embrace change.
Sometimes I have been ready and excited.
Sometimes I have been flat out petrified.
But we have made it!
2012 is right around the corner and I know it holds more change.
But I want more from it. I want joyful change.
And this year one thing I have learned is that there are a lot of things that you cannot control.
But you can always take on your attitude. Notice I didn’t say chose it… on purpose! Because while it is true that you can chose your attitude, it would be dishonest (of me at least) to say that always happens.
Gotta be real here with my people.  :O)



Live it, Love it, Learn how to embrace it.  :O)

Bring on 2012.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

The Proposal!

Well first of all - totally surprised!
God's timing in this, as in all things turns out to be pretty perfect after all.
Al has had plans in the works for a while but the timing has been bad so far this year for many reasons.
Early in November Dad and he went to a Razorback football game and Al asked my dad if he could marry me. 
Mid November I started planning a surprise party for Al. He turns 40 on the 6th!
So I started enlisting conspirators who then start also working behind my back.
Al knew that my brother from North Dakota was going to be here for these weeks around Thanksgiving - perfect time to pop the question.
So the planning began.

We started off the night at Buck Nekkid BBQ (which I think is hilarious that it's part of our engagement story!) :O)
After that we went to the Fayetteville square to see the lights.
We walked all the way around the square and were standing around talking about what we were going to do.
Amelia said that she and Jeff wanted a picture on a bench that was behind us and surrounded by lights.
After Al took their picture Amelia asked us if we wanted ours.

We got our picture on the bench and as I started to get up Al stopped me.
He got down on one knee and I happily said "Yes!"

Just afterwards we went and sat down on another bench while we waited for Jeff and Amelia.
A man came up in front of us with a violin and began to play "Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel." Such a great cap to the night and completely unplanned.

We were blessed today to have Al's surprise party combined with an engagement party.
I'm sure I'll be an obnoxious engaged person... I've spent a lot of time building up to it.  :O)

So. In. Love.
So. Thankful!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Tender Places

Many nights in this past year I would describe my heart and soul as raw.
Spiritually it's been a blank period for me.
I've barely journaled.
I've only been able to attend church regularly online.
It's a dry period.
And the place I find myself in right now I think is best described by one word:


I know why some of these places are tender. But not what to do with them.
When you have a broken arm (or screwed up back) you can easily tell people - Ouch - don't touch.
When your heart is tender it's not that easy to protect.
I find myself in a place I do not like.
I'm touchy about things that are in these tender spots.
Yet I cannot share with the world what they are in words.
Dreams not realized
Hopes just out of reach.
Painful absences... that do not make my heart fonder towards anything.
I resist the urge to cry out when that tender place is touched.
Those who are doing the wounding have no idea what their words have done.
They have no reason to. They cannot see the broken places.
Tonight I find myself reaching up and asking for God to begin to bind even the places I am unaware of right now.
Even if physical healing never comes, I realize the spiritual healing needed may be that much more desperaate.
But I believe that both healings are possible and are future.

Change - It was my word at the beginning of 2011. It is my word here at the close.
Please God, let none of these days be wasted.
Let the tender places be healed.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Wow. It's November People

I know you were waiting on me to tell you!  :O)
So much has not changed since my last check in.
I've been to yet another neurosurgeon who has given me the same kinda depressing news.
So stay tuned for some news on that front.
Since my word for the year was Change, I think the possible upcoming huge change would be appropriate.
Hope y'all are well.
I promise someday soon to return to my bloggy schedule I had started to stick to.
Pathetic.  :O)
Ohh and Blessing Baskets is here.  So don't expect that return to be before Thanksgiving!

Monday, September 19, 2011

For My Uncle J. B.

I just finished watching a 10 part WWII documentary on Netflix.  Incredible.
About halfway through the series they covered Saipan.
Saipan is a teeny, tiny little Island in the Pacific that most people my age have probably never heard about.
Why did I know the name?
Because of my Great Uncle J. B.

On this teeny, tiny Island a very big battle was waged in June of 1944.  My uncle was there.
We have no details on how he died.
Watching this documentary is startling. I hesitate to mention it to my mother because of the shocking nature of what is spoken of and seen. I scan the videos for a recognizable face.
The whole picture painted reminds me how incredible these young men were to charge off of landing boats and onto shore; to run up hills into certain danger; to risk their lives to secure a future for the world as they knew it.
I'm in a bit of awe tonight.
And I'm remembering my Uncle.
In 2009 I found a website that showed where soldiers who had died in the Pacific had been buried. It's a place known as the Punch Bowl in Honolulu, Hawaii.
From a link on that site, I sent in a request and a lady I do not know went to my Uncle's grave, placed a flower, and took a picture.
That gesture means so much more to me tonight as I understand that sacrifice a little better.
So thankful for a heritage of service and for men like my Uncle J.B. that have served and still serve our country today.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Help Me Outta My Hand-Me-Downs

So one of the fun blogs writers I follow - Kenlie is doing a give away that is helping me to seriously covet.
Cephalon is giving away a cookware set.
Gina. Wants.  :O)
We all know that I don't own a single piece of cookware that I have actually purchased myself. Everything I have came from someone else's kitchen.
Jump on over and check in out.  But don't even think about winning, cause this one is mine people.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

I'm Still Alive

Yes, It is August. It's very close to September.
And I've been very silent this year.
As with most silences that was not for nothing. :O)
Back near the beginning of the year my chronic back pain moved from nuisance to debilitating.
By March I was barely active.
By April I was barely walking.
It's been a long road that I am not quite at the end of yet.
But I have felt the need to crawl back onto the net and at least say.
I. Am. Here.
Which my random brain feels the need to share, reminds me much of this scene from Horton Hears a Who.
So, ok, hopefully my last cartoon reference on this post.
Where were we? Oh yes. I. Am. Here.
I still have some specialists visits. I'm finally back at work but it's been very difficult.
Sitting is pain. Standing for long is pain.
Blah, blah
Now you are officially caught up on the last few months.
So what's new?
1.  Graduation - As of 8/4 I am the holder of a Master of Divinity with a Church Ministries emphasis from Liberty University.

2.  3 Years have passed - As of 8/23 I've been dating Al for 3 years (crazy no?)

3.  I've watched approximately 9,000 hours of Netflix programming. That is either a slight exaggeration or an under-count. I'm leaning towards the latter. They have a lot of stuff on there people!

4.  My parents have gone well above and beyond in taking care of me. There are no words to really cover that. Thank you's have been said. But I'll always be overwhelmed by their care.

5.  I can't think of a #5 but I had to have one.

There you go. All is explained. Hopefully I'll be back soon with something riveting and soul stirring. Or maybe just stupid and funny.
In the meantime, I. Am. Here.  :O)

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

The Day I Almost Ran

Well it's  been over a month since I got down in the dust to fight this depression full on with no  place to hide.
It's been a month of change.
I've seen good days and bad days.
But for the first time in probably a year I can finally say that my good days are starting to outnumber my bad days.
It's a milestone that I am not sure you can fully appreciate until you've been at the place where the days stretch on hopelessly before you.
So many of you responded to me that you've been there or you are there.
I wish I could give you a good picture of it. Really the night I hit publish on that blog the reponses were immediate. I literally sat in front of the laptop for hours reading and crying.
Many people understood.
Many people had come out the other side.
It is such a big thing to take part of the stigma of shame out of the equation. It is such a huge thing to have the people I love most in the world affirm that they are here for the duration; that I am not un-mendably broken; that one day or another I will be ok.

I think one of my biggest markers of change occurred this past Sunday morning on praise team. Unfortunately my body responds to adrenaline by shaking. The more adrenaline the more uncontrollable the shaking. It's mortifying to me because it looks like I am nervous... but really I'm not!
So one of my reactions to this in the past has been a massive anxiety attack/panic attack.
Sunday morning at the very start of our first song the panic started to creep in.
Now part of the medicine the doctor put me on 6 weeks ago was an anxiety component.
Despite that I knew a full blown attack was coming on. And what was I suppossed to do? I was on stage, with a mic, in front of thousands of people??


Somewhere inside of me this time a calmness started to spread. If I had run off the stage I probably would never have been able to face that moment of fear and panic again (this I know from my prior history). In a split second and while still singing I had to make the decision to run or stay.
It hit me there that no matter what I was about to press through.
Even if I passed out I was staying put.
The anxiety did not entirely pass... but it also did not overtake me.
There are NO words for how huge that is.
I am still fighting friends.
Stay in there with me.
If you are still battling I would still love to talk to you.
The struggle will be worth it someday. This is something I know without any doubt.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Honesty in change

As I start this post tonight I am still not sure that I will hit publish.
I am still not sure if I can. I'm not sure if I'm ready.
I written before that I believe secrecy is a tool that the enemy uses against us. When we hide who we are and what we are dealing with we give it power over us.
And I have been giving something in my life power over me for far too long.
At the end of the year when I wrote this post, I already knew that I was headed towards a decision on posting this or not. Honestly, I've leaned towards not.
Something within me still wanted to hang onto an image that I was ok - that I was not really broken. I was just lazy or crazy. Nothing was really wrong with me. I could just "pull it together."
So I continued to suffer in silence.
in a deep dark place
in a hopeless place
in a lonely place

It was more than a funky mood. As weeks went on early in 2010 I knew that I was in trouble but refused to face it. Things in my life were so good. I had found the love of my life. I was doing well in school. My job was stressful (at times) but wonderful and fulfilling.

But inside I was tanking. I knew it. People close to me knew it.
If you have ever suffered from depression or loved someone who does you know this hole well.
In coming clean with a few key people recently I realized that I was not alone.

This secret was hiding me. I had slipped back down into a deep depression that was slowly taking me over.

The me I know had gone away to be replaced by someone who really only wanted to stay in a dark room.
It's not my first time in this place. But this time I was really sure that I wasn't coming out of it.

So I finally went for help. This is where I struggle most though. It's the thing that is hard for so many believers to admit. I am back on anti-depressant/anti-anxiety drugs. I so wanted to believe when I got better that I no longer needed the medicine. Surely I was fixed now.
But I was wrong.
For some of us depression and and anxiety have a chemical component. Something is off in our bodies. We feel out of control and powerless. We KNOW that things should be different but we cannot climb out of the hole.
Just as diabetics can be helped by insulin so can some depressions be lifted by fine tuning the chemicals in our brains.
And how incredible is my God who not only gave man the wisdom to fine tune, but gave him the tools as well!?!
I am not a failure because I am on medication to help me through this.
If you are here too... you are not a failure either.
I think I needed to say that because I know what some people will say.
If you want a debate on this... my blog is NOT the place for it. God and I have gone rounds on this one and I believe that yes I need counseling to learn how to cope with some things. But I clearly needed more help.
He is good.
He is trustworthy.
He is not a God of condemnation.
He is not willing to leave me alone in this pit.

If you are relating; If you are in this same place; maybe this confessional is for you. Maybe my tears can save you some.
I am broken. But I am healing.
I was a hopeless person who has glimpsed a light of hope.

My 2011 word is Change. When I picked that word it scared me so much because I knew where we were headed.

And now:
I. Am. Ready


Tuesday, January 11, 2011


So that's my word for 2011. And it still scares me.
But I know that things have to be different.
Yes I am still being vague.
Yes that is intentional.
This week has seen some subtle movements in my life that I pray are the indicators that something is about to give.
I believe that God is still working.
Why? If you go back and read the post right before I posted about my chosen word for the year... you'll notice my closing hope. I posted this while I was still struggling to pick my word!!

"I’m still here.
I’m still fighting.
I believe in change.
Sometimes I even still have hope in change."
It was meant to be. :O)
For now. I need some time away to think, sing and pray.
God is good to me, much better than I could even ask.
I've been going back in my mind to a pivotal place in my life. A physical place where God showed me something amazing. The Beth Moore study I am doing mentioned last night that sometimes if you think you've strayed from God's place you need to go back to the place you last met Him powerfully. I think, I shall.
I await His movement and change.

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Prelude: My Prayer

Where I am tonight.
Praying for Change

Monday, January 03, 2011

My One Word

For years I have always named my year. One year was "Joy." One year was "Faithfulness."
My year is always something that I need to work on that year or something that I hope for.
Some years are a promise from God to me of where we are going that year.
One of my blogging peeps does the same type thing. This year she is challenging people in this area via her blog. FYI... if you don't read this blog make it a MUST visit!

This year I have had trouble finding my word.
Due, in great part, to my struggles of the last few months (that blog is still to come I promise!) I have not chosen a word yet.
I have prayed, read and thought. Nothing seemed obvious. Nothing seemed right.
I have been a bit discouraged by this fact.
Today as I was reading over some of the other "One Word" people... it hit me.


It's a scary word for me. I am resisting it honestly. I think I'm blogging it so I can't back out.


More to come on this... I am sure. I'm still trying to talk myself out of having heard this!

Change, Changing, Changed